Revista do Hospital das Clínicas
Print version ISSN 0041-8781
FALCAO, Mário Cícero and TANNURI, Uenis. Nutrition for the pediatric surgical patient: approach in the peri-operative period. Rev. Hosp. Clin. [online]. 2002, vol.57, n.6, pp. 299-308. ISSN 0041-8781. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0041-87812002000600010.
Nutrition is essential for maintenance of physiologic homeostasis and growth. Hypermetabolic states lead to a depletion of body stores, with decreased immunocompetence and increased morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this paper is to provide an update regarding the provision of appropriate nutrition for the pediatric surgical patient, emphasizing the preoperative and postoperative periods. Modern nutritional support for the surgical patient comprises numerous stages, including assessment of nutritional status, nutritional requirements, and nutritional therapy. Nutritional assessment is performed utilizing the clinical history, clinical examination, anthropometry, and biochemical evaluation. Anthropometric parameters include body weight, height, arm and head circumference, and skinfold thickness measurements. The biochemical evaluation is conducted using determinations of plasma levels of proteins, including album, pre-albumin, transferrin, and retinol-binding protein. These parameters are subject to error and are influenced by the rapid changes in body composition in the peri-operative period. Nutritional therapy includes enteral and/or parenteral nutrition. Enteral feeding is the first choice for nutritional therapy. If enteral feeding is not indicated, parenteral nutrition must be utilized. In all cases, an individualized, adequate diet (enteral formula or parenteral solution) is obligatory to decrease the occurrence of overfeeding and its undesirable consequences.
Keywords : Nutritional support; Nutritional assessment; Nutritional therapy; Pediatric surgery; Nutrition.